BREAKING : Soldiers withdrawn from Mugabe over Nelson Chamisa endorsement

United Kingdom :  On Sunday the former Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe dramatically weighed in on Monday’s elections, vowing to vote for opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and by so doing inviting thousands of his loyalists to do the same.

Just a few hours after Mugabe’s vow not to vote for his “tormentors”, a reference to the incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa who came into power following a military coup last November, the regime withdrew Mugabe’s security, made up of a nine-man unit of the Presidential Guard.

Jealousy Mawarire, who has been the de facto spokesperson for  Mugabe since his ouster, said the soldiers had been withdrawn at around 5 PM, some three hours after Mugabe ended a press conference with a huge media pack at the Blue Roof residence in Borrowdale

“After President Mugabe held a press conference and stated that he wasn’t going to vote for Mnangagwa, Mnangagwa withdrew all security from the Blue Roof residence. Nine soldiers who guarded the premises were immediately removed after the press conference but not before they vandalized the house they were using,” Mawarire said.

“Bulbs, electrical switches and anything that made the house habitable was vandalized. The leader of the nine soldiers dumped keys at the reception point and told the receptionist they had been ordered off the premises because of the press conference. Only two police officers remain.”

Mugabe had earlier made a most dramatic intervention in Zimbabwe’s election – the first without him on the ballot in 38 years – when he endorsed the youthful opposition leader at the expense of the party he founded, Zanu PF, which is now led by a former ally and President for seven months, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

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